(More on) e-books and me

Monday, 28 September 2009

I dropped this comment into Tor.com‘s “Bells, Whistles, & Books: Going Paperless” thread:

I’m no longer a library user and probably shouldn’t weigh into the digital vs print argument in that context, so I won’t. (Except to say that disposing of the existing p-books is incredibly wasteful and short-sighted: I’m sure that many of these books don’t have a digital counterpart.)

Some of my reasons for choosing e-books over p-books are enumerated in a comment I made on Dear Author and which is reproduced in my blog, and I won’t repeat them here.

I have been a reader for some 40 years and have a huge p-book storage and organization problem which would be even worse if my collection hadn’t been severely culled several times to keep the costs of moving house (internationally) to a minimum. I decided this year to move to e-books and chose the Sony PRS-700 (despite some concerns about display quality), and I’ll address some of the points in the OP and comments upthread from the perspective of a Sony user.

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Red Dawn

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sydney Harbour Bridge (Kate Geraghty, SMH)

Sydney Harbour Bridge (Kate Geraghty, Sydney Morning Herald)


Sydney’s post-equinoctial “gift” from the ghu of weather was a dirty orange dust storm with gale-force winds, with gusts up to 100kmh. I could taste and smell the stuff even with all my windows and doors closed, and many people apparently reported breathing problems. Certainly my asthma played up a bit, but as I was indoors all day it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

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Boring Statistics: WCG

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Current WCG badge status

This is the current status of my World Community Grid effort.
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Nepenthes

Thursday, 17 September 2009
Nepenthes sp.

Nepenthes sp.

These photos were taken at the “Plants With Bite” Festival at the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains, NSW. The March 2009 exhibition was organized by the Australasian Carnivorous Plant Society.

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Skink and Sarracenia

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

I fished a large skink (approx. 30 cm from nose to tail) out of a bucket containing about 2 cm of water this morning. It perched calmly on my hand for about twenty minutes and then panicked and escaped when I started to stroke its back.

While I’m pleased to have saved its life, I’m also aware that its predicament was my fault: I should have stored all the buckets in the backyard upside-down just to prevent this kind of thing.

Skink

Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

[Edit, 18 Sep 2009] This is one of the skinks that make their home in my backyard. Note the missing toes on the left hind leg, and the scars left over from dropping its tail and growing a replacement.

Could it be my rescuee? Well, maybe. It’s about the same size…

skink02

Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

Tentatively identified as Eulamprus quoyii, or Eastern Water Skink.

I hand-pollinated a Sarracenia flava flower a couple of weeks ago. By this morning the petals had all dropped off and the stalk straightened out completely. The whole structure is completely up-ended and the developing seed capsule is now protected by an umbrella that used to be a bucket.

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

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Why I prefer ebooks

Monday, 14 September 2009

I wrote this comment in Dear Author‘s “Long Live the Content” (13 Sep 2009) thread:

I bought an eReader earlier this year and my preferred book format is now electronic. I have a large portion of my library, including e-versions of the books I already have on paper wherever possible, on a single device that I only need to charge once a week and which only needs a USB cable and a computer or a USB power adapter.

I’ve bought nearly a hundred books which, if they had been paper, would probably have made my house explode from the overload. Or, at the very least, they’d have eventually made their way into one of many unsorted, uncatalogued filing boxes from which they’d be difficult to unearth without a protracted search.

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